Cities and the Wealth of Nations
One of my goals for 2023 is to write a review of this book. Reading it, I frequently thought, “Wow, this is an extremely interesting idea, I wonder what the economics establishment would say about it if confronted with it directly.”
My intention for the review is to distill the insights of the book in a way where I can share them with other economists and see if the ideas hold up to scrutiny. I’d like to turn the claims in this book into a list of testable hypothesis and see if I can falsify them using historical data.
The central idea of the book is that nation states are the wrong unit of analysis for economic life and we would be better off trying to understand economies through the lens of cities. In a forthcoming post I’ll examine her evidence for this argument and what kinds of insights this change in perspective might yield.
I’ll also talk about her preferred model for understanding development: import replacing, and how that has traditionally interacted with feedback from a local currency, but usually does not within the context of a nation state.